CHICAGO -- Chicago saw a record number of international visitors last year as the city ramped up a campaign to promote itself as a business and tourism destination.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Friday that the city welcomed 1.3 million international visitors in 2012. That's up 14 percent from the year before.
Contact information ( * required )
Much of the growth was from Asian and South American markets, where the Choose Chicago campaign has focused on selling the city as a top tourism, convention and business destination.
The mayor's office says the increase has helped support record hotel construction this year as well as a hotel occupancy rate of more than 73 percent, the best rate the recession.
According to Emanuel's office, that hotel occupancy has produced more than $1 billion of revenue so far in 2013.